Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1

    Question Choosing an awesome at home espresso machine

    Hey everyone,

    I am here to ask for some advice on what kind of espresso machine I should buy for use at home. I have spent countless hours reading up on different machines and their specs and reviews from every source I can find. I am quite overwhelmed. During my search I did learn quite a few things, first of which is that the grinder is far more important to a great espresso than the machine itself. So I spent some time shopping and researching and I snagged up a refurbished Baratza Encore for less than 100 bucks. Pretty stoked I must say. But I realized my fabulous new grinder will be here in a few days, yet I still have no machine with which to brew. So my next dilemma arises, which machine to buy? I am on a budget so I'm looking to spend around 300 on it. I know that to get a great machine that does everything it can be up into the thousands so I'll breakdown what exactly I'm looking for. A machine that will allow me to pull good shots consistently. Approximately 2-6 shots for each use. I live in Oregon, so in the winter there's nothing better than a hot latte to warm your hands up so I'd like a machine that can do a good job steaming milk for at least 2 drinks at a time, maybe more with company over. Hopefully has is easy to clean and use, but I'm willing to put up with quirky for better quality.

    Any help/advice on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,158
    Have you spent any time reading through Homebarista.com?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Boca Raton, FL
    Posts
    160
    Sorry to tell you this but the Baratza Encore isn't capable of espresso grinding, it's meant for low end/entry level "pressurized portafilter" espresso machines.... which really don't make espresso at all. They force the coffee through a tiny hole making coffee that taste nothing like espresso and fake crema. And if you want consistancy, can say good by to that with the Encore. It's an excellent coarse use grinder however, just not meant for espresso. The Preciso/Vario/Forte are Baratzas espresso capable grinders, it's not a matter of grinding fine enough, but the correct grind quality and consistency.

    As far as machines, with your budget, your only choice is really a refurbed Gaggia Classic which Wholelattelove sometimes has just under 300. However as far as consistency, your going to be held back and frustrated with poor shots with the Encore, and you'll have to learn how to temp surf etc the Classic. Just being honest, unfortunately espresso it the one means of coffee brewing that isn't cheap to make. Should consider returning the Encore, and buying a used espresso grinder (Baratza sometimes has refurbs, check their site every Thursday for updates) and upping the budget for a refurbed Classic. And if your wanting to make multiple lattes, understand that the single boiler dual use machines will be sloooooooooooow. You'd either have to step up to the CC1 which has a seperate thermoblock for steaming making it way faster (which I own) but that's quite above your budget, or a used h/x machine but that will still be quite above your budget.

    If you can't your way better off doing other means, like the Aeropress, $25 and makes a hell of a cup, or pour over etc. I mean would you rather have good "coarse" use coffee, or poor "espresso"? If you really want something that's kinda like espresso, then just grab an Bar32 or Delonghi EC155 for like 100 bucks, pressurized portafilters so won't be espresso, and not really good steamers for milk but some people don't care and just want to drink something thats like espresso making.

    Remember fresh roasted beans no matter what, nothing store bought or with a best by or use by date, they have long since been stale. Everyone starts somewhere though, I started with a Bar32 and preground (gag) as I didn't know better, the hand grinder and Charbucks beans (double gag when i think back lol), then got an Breville Smart Grinder and depressurized the Bar32 Basket.... then the monster was created and started ordering fresh roasted beans shipped to house, a Baratza Preciso, and Crossland CC1 lol
    Last edited by Surfer; 05-23-2014 at 11:00 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,574
    Quote Originally Posted by peterjschmidt View Post
    Have you spent any time reading through Homebarista.com?
    I would certainly hope not as that site is full of wannabe coffee tards and I could care less who I offend by saying so. Almost as bad as CoffeeGeek...

    Have seen on those forums time and time again the newbies getting bashed when attempting to ask a few simple beginner questions, which is probably why most feel more comfortable posting here. Of course I've gotten banned from both multiple times simply because I won't tolerate their candy a$$/know-it-all mentality.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,574
    The Gaggia Classic is an excellent home machine and is very much capable of superb espresso consistently once you dial things in. Sure won't happen overnight, but nothing good ever does happen quickly.

    I'm a fan of taking what you have/can afford and maximizing it regardless of what others say. You don't have to spend thousands on equipment to get something great in the cup. The Encore may be a bit better than the Capresso Infinity and I used one of those at home for some time as well as even tinkering with it on a commercial level. The extractions I achieved from it were at least 90% as good as what I had dialed in on my commercial grinder at that time. IMBHO prosumer/commercial equipment really just helps you achieve a bit more consistency/volume, but not much else. All you need for great espresso is fresh coffee that is ground to a decent particle size/consistency and then control your water temperature/pressure within a decent range. I've never used super high end grinders or PIDs on any of my machines, etc... and the espresso that I sip daily from my humble home equipment is pretty damn spectacular and I've extracted tens of thousands of double shots in 6 years~ from an Olympia Cremina lever to a 2 group Nuova Simonelli Aurelia to a La Marzocco FB/80 and everywhere in between.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by peterjschmidt View Post
    Have you spent any time reading through Homebarista.com?
    Site doesn't exist or is down...

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,158
    Quote Originally Posted by thatlucidguy View Post
    Site doesn't exist or is down...
    I'm sorry, I omitted the dash; Home-Barista.com ? Espresso Machine & Coffee Grinder Reviews, How-Tos and Discussion Forums.

 

 

Remove Ads

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Choosing a prosumer/light commercial espresso machine
    By evoluzione in forum Coffee and Espresso Machines
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-30-2013, 12:14 PM
  2. Choosing an espresso machine - is pressure important?
    By Fallingwater in forum Coffee and Espresso Machines
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-05-2011, 04:05 PM
  3. Awesome coffee, awesome deal!
    By workingtomato in forum Business to Business B2B
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-13-2008, 11:12 AM
  4. awesome coffee pod machine
    By coffeeguy0331 in forum Coffee and Espresso Machines
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-16-2006, 08:49 AM
  5. Help choosing an espresso machine
    By eduardo.castillo.s in forum Coffee Industry Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-27-2005, 02:42 PM

Search tags for this page

ec155 vs. bar32
,

vario or preciso

Click on a term to search for related topics.

Tags for this Thread